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Tokyo cops nab infamous 75-year-old pickpocket in Kichijoji

Tamako Sagai
Tamako Sagai

TOKYO (TR) – Tokyo Metropolitan Police have finally apprehended a prolific elderly female pickpocket who had garnered quite a reputation within law enforcement, reports Nikkan Sports (May 18).

On Monday evening, Tamako Sagai, a 75-year-old resident of Hachioji City, allegedly pulled a memo pad and other articles from the bag of an 83-year-old woman after calling out to her at a bus station in front of JR Kichijoji Station, located in Musashino City.

Sagai, who has been charged with theft, admits to the allegations. “I did it for money,” she is quoted by police, “and I’ve done the same thing before as well.”

Indeed she has.

Since February of last year, Sagai is believed to have been behind at least 20 thefts. Her modus operandi includes approaching elderly women in public, much as she did on Monday, and asking them for directions. During the conversation, she lifts valuables from the victims.

Officers investigating Sagai began to internally refer to her as “Koe kake Tamako” (Greeter Tamako). She was apprehended after a police officer tailing her witnessed the crime in Kichijoji.